A 90-YEAR-OLD Ntabazinduna dancer, Lydia Machibi stunned a crown of more than 1 000 people who attended King Mzilikazi Commemorations with captivating dance moves at Old Bulawayo last week.
Machibi said the secret to her long life was dancing and singing which kept her stress-free.
“Dancing keeps me strong and fit while singing keeps me happy and reduces heart diseases and prevents high blood pressure. Regular exercise helps me manage a wide range of health problems including stroke and depression. Dancing is the sort of exercise that improves my mood and helps blow off some steam on a stressful day,” said the elderly from the outskirts of Bulawayo, a member of Mangwe Cultural Dance Group.
Machibi added that she ate a balanced diet which enabled her to have a long lasting career.
“Traditional food has always been my first option. My father was a farmer so vegetables were always available at home. I guess that was the reason I always chose vegetables over meat. Harmful substances such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption reduce the years that God has given us. Positive healthy steps that people should adopt include drinking plenty of water and frequent hand washing after visiting the toilet,” she added.
Machibi urged youths to be careful on sexual activities to prevent risks of getting deadly diseases.
“Sexual abstinence is the only 100 percent guarantee that you won’t get sexually-transmitted siseases. They (youths) should understand that by engaging in unprotected sex they could be digging their own graves,” she said.
Machibi said she had 13 children, and 12 of them have since died.
“It’s quite unbelievable that I once had 13 children but now I only have one. It’s a very heartbreaking subject but being a widow has taught me to be strong. I have always worked hard to put food on the table. I also thank God who gave me good neighbours in Ntabazinduna who always look out for me when I need help,” she said.
Machibi was born in 1926 in South Africa but relocated to Zimbabwe more than 50 years back. She has been staying in Ntabazinduna where she is a member of Mangwe group which mainly comprises elderly people and produces traditional music of the Ndebele culture. Machibi is still as fit as a fiddle, and continues to mesmerise the public with her exhilarating dancing moves and sweet voice.